Can this be done? I think so. Anyway, I'm going to try.
Yesterday morning, I made a quick trip to the garment district. I looked at some wool suiting at trashy old H&M on 39th St. They had some OK stuff for $10/yd, but nothing that blew me away and it was more than I wanted to spend on something that may turn out to be little more than a glorified muslin.
Then it occurred to me: why not try cotton corduroy? It will be easier to work with than wool, and even a little rumpled can look cool and casual.
I remembered there being another fabric store on 39th Street that had a lot of corduroy, and while I never did find that one, I stumbled upon another -- Chic Fabric at 225 West 39th -- that had beautiful, vibrantly-colored corduroy at just $5/yd for 60-inch bolts. I bought three yards but may return today for three more.
I'm not sure how this reads on your screen but it's a rich cranberry (Michael says, Merlot), very soft and velvety. I've already laundered and dried it and it came out lovely, with nary a wrinkle.
I've been reading a lot about corduroy and how to work with it. Initially I thought I'd pick up a velvet needle board and swung by Steinlauf & Stoller. Do you have any idea what these things cost? Try $175! Even online, they're amazingly expensive. Anyway, after doing some research it sounds like I can get by without one. I'm certainly not ready to make that kind of investment.
I've been experimenting with light pressing, stitching, serging, etc., and so far, so good. You just don't want to sit a hot iron on it as that will crush the nap.
I visited Sil Thread on 38th St. and found perfectly matching thread.
I also found real pocketing!
And at the FIT bookstore (the independent one, not the Barnes & Noble) I treated myself, at long last, to a sleeve board, which I've been wanting for some time.
When I got home, look what Michael had found in the paper recycling:
Friends, if you've seen one of these old Sixties-era sewing books, you've seen them all, but this one had something special inside -- an ILGWU bookmark!
Now that's something to treasure!
Anyway, I'm very excited to get started. I'm going to do the pants first, which shouldn't be too hard since I've already had some success with pants. By then I should be more accustomed to working with the corduroy and will tackle the jacket. (I'm not entirely sure how much inner construction a cotton corduroy blazer requires/warrants.) If I finish all this in time for the dreaded event you know where(belch), great. If not, that's fine too. I can certainly wear the pants with either a blue or gray jacket.
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!